RENTON – The only saving grace for the Seattle Seahawks after a 34-point pasting is this team appears to be getting healthy at the right time.
Missing six starters against the New York Giants in a 41-7 humbling on Sunday, coach Pete Carroll said he’s hopeful at least half of those guys will be ready for Sunday’s NFC West Division contest at Arizona.
Carroll said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck worked out Monday, and he’s optimistic that the veteran quarterback will return for practice this week.
Hasselbeck, who missed Sunday’s game with lingering concussion symptoms, has not been cleared to play, and the team won’t know if he’s passed the baseline test until Wednesday.
“He had a good workout today,” Carroll said. “I don’t go blow-by-blow on his workouts and all, but he had a good workout today. (He) responded well, best he has, and looks very good at this point.”
Another key cog for the offense, rookie tackle Russell Okung, also could be back this week.
Carroll said Okung also worked out Monday but is still questionable to practice this week.
Okung has missed the past two weeks with a high ankle sprain on his left leg after missing the first three games of the year with the same injury on his right leg.
“He had a good workout (Monday),” Carroll said about Okung. “He’ll be in there again (today) and we’ll just go day-to-day. He’s very close, and we’ve seen him come back before from this. And we’re trying to gauge it with that information. This ankle sprain is not nearly the one that he had. And so we’re hopeful and he’s very hopeful that he’ll be able to get back and help us.”
If Okung can return, then veteran Chester Pitts can move to his more natural position – left guard. If that happens, Seattle would have its ideal starting five together for the first time – Okung and Pitts at left tackle and guard, respectively, Chris Spencer at center, Stacy Andrews at right guard and Sean Locklear at right tackle. That would mark the Seahawks’ sixth offensive line combination in nine games.
The Seahawks also missed three starters on the defensive line against the Giants. Defensive end Red Bryant is done for the season after having knee surgery.
And Carroll said defensive tackle Colin Cole will be out a couple more weeks with a high ankle sprain.
However, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who has missed the past four games with a calf issue, had a full workout Monday, and the team expects him to practice at full speed Wednesday.
Receiver Golden Tate has a high ankle sprain and is still a couple weeks away from practicing.
Fullback Michael Robinson could return from a hamstring injury this week.
Safety Earl Thomas (ankle) and tight end Chris Baker (foot) suffered injuries Sunday, but both came back to play and are OK.
With players on the mend, Carroll is hopeful that his team can get back to the way it was playing at the beginning of the season, and he feels good the Seahawks are 4-4 and still in the playoff hunt, tied atop the NFC West with St. Louis.
“We’re fortunate with the hits that we took in the last couple weeks, we’re fortunate to be where we are right now,” he said. “That’s really important to notice and recognize. We have a chance to keep going here with our division, which is the goal of our program, is to own this division. That’s there for us. And here we go against the Cardinals there. We have a huge opportunity. I don’t lose sight of that.”
Cornerback Marcus Trufant agreed.
“We’ve got a lot of pros on this team,” Trufant said. “And we’ve got a great group of guys. We’ve got a great coaching staff. So we I think we know what to do. Everybody knows we’ve got work to do. So that’s going to be our attitude – to get it fixed.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks